I am finishing my 2nd year doing a Mathematics BSc (UK) and I am very worried about my options next year. I primarily enjoy analysis and am interested in pure maths generally. However, my university, for various reasons, has an incredibly limited module choice. There are very few options in analysis and none in number theory/geometry. Most modules are statistical/applied. How much will this limit my future options?

I am not concerned about getting into master's programmes because grades are grades. I'm more concerned about what I'll do when I get there. I've looked at course catalogues and everything I'm interested in has prerequisites not offered by my university. Of course, I'm happy to teach myself; but there are only so many hours in the day when also taking a full course load. If I am not able to take the modules I'd like at my master's, surely I'll then also struggle to get a PhD that interests me etc etc.

How much of an impact have your undergraduate module choices affected the direction that your academic career has taken?

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    Which country are you in? Have you considered emailing a lecturer at a uni where you'd like to do your Master's to ask for their suggestions, or perhaps ask how flexible the pre-requisites are? Note that it's fairly common to switch fields/topics in between degrees. I only had one module on cosmology in my whole undergraduate degree, yet my PhD is in cosmology (as was my Master's dissertation). Commented May 13, 2021 at 17:35
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    I'm in the UK (sorry, I thought I had put that in my post! have now added it). I tried e-mailing the admissions department at my top choice university but it's been almost 2 months and they haven't replied. Good to hear your experience!
    – Captain
    Commented May 13, 2021 at 17:57
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    I would try emailing someone in the maths department directly, if you can find someone who teaches one of the modules you're interested in (most unis should list all their staff members by department on their website along with which modules they teach). And don't just restrict yourself to one uni! Commented May 13, 2021 at 18:05
  • Here is my problem: even if I'm allowed to take whatever course I like, regardless of my previous modules, this still seems like a bit of a mess. It would be ok if I wanted to take 1 or 2 modules that I didn't have the prerequisites for because I could study aggressively to catch up. However it's not just one or two modules, it's pretty much all of them. I don't know about other peoples studying prowess, but studying a masters whilst essentially simultaneously redoing 3rd year seems a bit much to me. I love maths but burning out helps nothing.
    – Captain
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 6:24


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